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Tuesday 22 Aug 2017 | 13:59 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 22 Aug 2017 | 13:59 | SYDNEY

9/11 'truthers' down under

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22 July 2010 12:10

 The news that the '9/11 truth' movement has infiltrated Australian politics is a bit depressing.

According to The Australian, the Greens candidate for the Victorian seat of Flinders, Bob Brown (no relation to his leader), opined as follows on 9/11 recently:

The 9/11 commission was not conclusive that al-Qa'ida was responsible…There are huge questions that need to be asked -- one building came down without being hit, architects say the building looked like they were brought down by controlled explosions. What happened to the bodies and plane at the Pentagon?

Mr Brown has since said that he was speaking purely as an individual, although it's not entirely clear whether he now accepts that AQ was in fact behind the events of 9/11.

Obviously the argument that the US government was behind the 9/11 attacks is an amalgam of ignorance, distortions and lies, yet some people have fastened on to it.

It's a bit like Franklin Roosevelt and Pearl Harbour. Many still believe that FDR had advance warning of the Japanese attack on 7 December 1941, even though the argument defies logic. Why would a sitting president – let alone someone who was obsessed with the US Navy, as Roosevelt was – allow a great portion of his nation's fleet to be destroyed at anchor? Why would he risk impeachment, if not a treason trial? And if he did know, why has evidence of this never emerged, despite decades of historical research?

Perhaps it not unnatural to want to believe that events with world-historical consequences also have world-historical causes. When this exists alongside an hostility towards authority, and an ignorance of government's frailties, and a hatred of a particular authority figure (whether it be Roosevelt or George W Bush), you end up with bizarre conspiracy theories. But I would hate to think that such theories would be vented in the House of Representatives.

Photo (of American 'truther' protesters) by Flickr user peace chicken, used under a Creative Commons license.

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